Thursday, 30 March 2017

William Butler Yeats Earns Nobel Prize

"'O words are lightly spoken'
Said Pearse to Connolly
'Maybe a breath of politic words
Has withered our rose tree
Or maybe but a wind that blows
Across the bitter sea.'"
(The Rose Tree, an imagined conversation between political radicals Pearse & Connolly after the Easter Rising of 1916)



William Butler Yeats was born in Ireland and educated in England.  His heart, however, always remained in Ireland where he would return each summer to live at his family's summer home in Connaught.  Yeats was active politically and considered himself an Irish Nationalist.  He was appointed a senator in the Irish Free State.  Yeats is arguably the most successful poet Ireland has ever produced, earning the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1923.

Using the symbolist style, Yeats crafted dozens of poems including:

  • Lake Isle of Innisfree (1890)
  • The Wanderings of Oisin (1889)
  • Song of the Old Mother (1899)
  • Adam's Curse (1902)
  • Easter (1916)
  • The Rose Tree (1916)
  • The Second Coming (1919)
  • A Prayer for my Daughter (1921)
  • Sailing to Byzantium (1928)
  • Remorse for Intemperate Speech (1933)


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